February 8, 2009, 3:53 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

As of today (Friday, April 3rd 2009) the results of this poll stand at roughly 60% in agreement (157 votes) and 40% in disagreement (105 votes), which is to say that a strong majority of stepstudy readers believe that it is better to be any kind of sober than not to be sober at all.

Interesting comments follow. Feel free to weigh in.

24 Comments so far
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Nice to have you back. Congrats on the growing family!
Matt D.

Comment by matt D.

Sobriety is the underlying foundation for the rest of recovery from Alcoholism/Addiction. However, if all a person does is stop drinking/using, the person will most likely feel miserable, and be unable to grow and mature into a rewarding life.
This is my experience and observation of others as well. Also, often “outside help” is needed and I believe is often put aside because of fear of being labelled/judged, particularly with mental health concerns.

Comment by Kathy A.

Sobriety without working the Steps of AA is of little value to the alcoholic of my type. in my experience, those who are only sober, and not working to lessen their EGOs and improve their relationships, usually do return to their old practicing alcoholic lives.

Comment by Giles

I think the answer is an emphatic “YES”. The question is not comparing “any” sobriety with an active 12-step recovery program (or any other approach for that matter). It’s comparing it with “NO” sobriety. I think that any version of sobriety is better than no sobriety. The bare minimum definition of sobriety is abstaining from alcohol. To me that has to be better.

Comment by David

The suicide rate among “dry drunks” is so high. Those once again at the jumping off place (can’t imagine life with or without it). That’s what I think of when I hear “any kind of sobriety”
No thanks.

Comment by Pam

im muslim although i have done tweleve step program but in my two years clean time i have seen almost recovery devlopes ccompulsive behavior besically sex addiction and gambling they think that they are free form drug &thats all
as an educator in twelve step i think in my sort time experience all kinds of sobriety must for an addict becasue in a sense of islamic velues all kinds addiction are major and devil will never let anyone move forward.i belive allah and i have to be responsible for all my sin in the day of final Judgement.
best regard
shahed (twelve step educator &cousellor}

Comment by shahed

I am currently going through the 12 Steps for the 3rd or 4th time. Each time I gain a more perspective. I’m not an addict but the child of many generations of alcoholics that has tainted my sense of truths. I know it is a slow process but alcoholism didn’t happen in a day either. Sobriety in any way is not good because relapse can happen and possibly worse.

Comment by Jennifer

Sobriety in any way is an improvement over a person deliberately poisoning themselves. Alcohol adversely affects every cell in our bodies; elimination of alcohol is always positive.

Comment by Kevin Brennick

During my many 24hrs, in sobriety I’ve seen people come in, and go out.In the field of recovery there is what’s called harm reduction. While this is somewhat contrary to AA, any sober time is helpful to the alcoholic trying to get well. No one is done, until they are done!

Comment by Tony Spano

I believe that pain is one of the most gracefilled tools God uses to bring us into relationship with Him. When you take away the drug of choice you are required to feel the pain. This may lead to the start of a real and growing relationship with God,in other words, ongoing recovery

Comment by Gary Akridge

“better” for whom?

For the people around me, i suppose it is slightly “better”. If the ONLY thing that changes is that I put down the booze and drugs ….. I am still an unbearable person to be around. Constantly restless, irritable and discontented.

For me, my experience tells me that just being sober with no solution is worse than being active. At least when active, I have a solution to turn to …. not a very constuctive one, yet a solution nonetheless. Take that away and replace it with NOTHING?? I am a disaster inside….. and as a result everyone around me suffers more.

Comment by Tom

That’s why we have the third step. Turn it over, man, turn it over to your higher power whoever, whatever it is…just someone or something that you can consider greater than yourself, more powerful than yourself. You say, “Take that (booze, drugs) away and replace it with NOTHING??” No, replace them with your higher power, my friend, with your higher power. “May you find him now.” Your pain, restlessness, irratibility, discontentment will not go away until you do. And, right now, you’re not in this to please the people around you, you got to be doing it for you; man, get selfish, don’t be so harfd on yourself, the solution is right there for your taking. And if you don’t know where to start, pick up the Big Book and read the third step prayer on page 63–read it over and over again and picture your higher power as though he or it is right in front of you and see (feel) what happens. It’ll happen, Tom, it’ll happen. And when you’re ready to consider where all of this is going to take you, read the “promises (last paragraph, page 83 and first paragraph page 84.) That’s what you will experience, I PROMISE YOU, if you work the steps, the most important being turning it all, ALL, over to your higher power as you understand him. God bless, friend.

Comment by tom f

Very well said. That’s me too without the power (of God)

Comment by Kieron. UK

My original sobriety date is 01/07/77. I have gone to a lot of meetings since then (an average of at least 4 per week), but I never worked the steps with a sponsor who had worked the steps with his sponsor. Last June I got drunk and wound up in treatment. I decided I would try to thoroughly follow the path of those who wrote the Book and got a sponsor and worked the steps. My life is now fantastic. I never would have lived long enough to work the steps had I continued to drink 2 qts of 100 proof a day since 1977, so I believe any sobriety is better than no sobriety!! My new sobriety date is 06/15/08. I’ve now worked the steps as suggested and have 3 sponsees who I am taking through the steps as I was taken through them. Thank GOD for AA and the spiritual awakening that allows me to work on my real problem – a spiritual malady of which alcohol was merely a symptom!!

Comment by John

Change, the result of the 12 steps. I used alcohol and drugs to be able to handle dealing with lifes problems. Working a program, and developing a relationship finally with Jesus Chrsit I learned to handle them without the use of alcohol and drugs. But, had I not done the work and just quit drinking and druging (any kind of sobriety) I maost likely would have had a severe breakdown. For 34 years I drank and drugged, and never grew up. Dealing with life on lifes terms would have crushed me. Eventually, I would return to the only way I knew to deal with things, drunk or high.

Comment by Mike

i think any type of soberity is good if you get a glimps of it you may then understand what you are missing in been sober just for one day you may come to relise that the drink is not worth it and like it did went on to now be 12 years sober

Comment by derek

Alcoholics kill themselves and others. This is a deadly disease for everyone. What we are really asking is, is it better to kill and die or to stop killing and dieing.

I aggree with the idea that a “worked” sobriety is far better. That has truly been my experience. You can become the person God intended for you to be before alcohol entered the picture. But if all you can do is stop dieing, then I would not interfer or judge

Comment by Jon M

Some rather than none for me… I can only keep what I have by giving it away, it’s not a race or a competition… how much do I have? I have a treasure box overflowing and it’s all yours, take it!

Comment by davidindigitaland

When I entered into recovery, and until I found Christ, I acted out in very angry and mean spirited ways. Thank God that I never physically hurt my family, but life was very miserable for my wife and kids. The sobriety was not a happy place for those around me, at that time.

Comment by Tommy Dickerson

If you are going to be miserable in recovery why bother. You might as well get high. No one ever told me it was going to be easy but it has definitely been better. I fall short on a daily basis but today that bothers me. I try not to repeat poor behaviors. Recovery requires change and change is difficult and many times painful BUT, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Today I try to remain humble and grateful and honest in all my affairs. Today it is not about me. I care about others and myself. G-d has opened my eyes and the Holy Spirit has filled my heart. This is the kind of recovery I wish for everyone. That whatever you are struggling with never hurts you again, ever.

Comment by Shawn Doniger

Sobriety, no matter how poor in quality, is at least a small, tenuous step in the right direction. Without abstinence from alcohol there is little chance to change our lives for the better.

But without improving the quality of our sobriety (for most of us this means actively working the 12 Steps), our lives are often filled with such misery and pain that we feel that we might as well drink or die.

With physical sobriety we may have the beginnings of hope. That hope may be slight–hope against hope even. There may be no light at the end of the tunnel, but the darkness is a shade less black. That’s a start!

Comment by Tim G

Absolutely, without at least abstinence, the alcoholic has no shot at having the humility, open-mindedness and the willingness to atempt to take the steps and grow spiritually.
The Big Book say’s “we feel elimination of drinking was but a beginning” but a vital start it is, and sometimes it just has to be good enough, FOR NOW!

Comment by Jeff J.

I think one is in sobriety or not; there’s no “some sobriety. Of course this depend’s on one’s definition of sobriety.. I subscribe to Dr. Terence Gorski’s definition: sobriety=abstinence from addictive drugs + abstinence from compulsive behaviors + improvements in bio-psycho-social health. To only be abstinent is being sober only. Unless all three conditions in the above equation are met, we might consider ourselves to be in our disease. One cannot be “somewhat pregnant”. it’s all or nothing.

Comment by tom forsythe

I have known for some time now that I have a drinking problem. Now I want to do something about it.

Comment by anne

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